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What's Next after 'The Dark Knight Rises'?

You've seen the movie by now. What should happen after this film? (Spoilers).

It sounds like pretty much everyone loved The Dark Knight Rises. As the final act in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, it had a definitive ending and many felt it was what the franchise deserved. But obviously this isn't the actual end of the franchise. Batman will rise once again. The question is, what happens after this film?

The story is over and Nolan has stated he is finished with the franchise. Here's some quick thoughts where the franchise could go.

There will be spoilers so hopefully you've done your duty as a Bat-fan and have already seen it at least once.

== TEASER ==

Catwoman Spin-off

Many felt Anne Hathaway was a poor choice to be cast as Catwoman (or we should say Selina Kyle). Her performance and the way Selina was written worked better everyone expected. She carried herself perfectly and showed she was more than capable of kicking ass alongside Batman.

Christopher Nolan was impressed with Hathaway's performance and mentioned the following to Access Hollywood.

Anne is incredibly precise and articulate about the psychology of the character. She’s really built it from the ground up, it’s just a delight to watch her perform. [Selina's] She’s an incredible character and we’re very excited to see her and hopefully we’ll leave people wanting more.

What are the chances of this? Not too likely it seems.

Hathaway did tell Digital Spy that should would love to do one if Nolan was involved. Since Nolan said he's finished with Batman, his involvement wouldn't be likely. Also, do people still have a bad taste in their mouths from the last Catwoman movie?

John Blake/Batman/Robin Spin-off

Joseph Gordon Levitt was one of my favorite parts of the movie. He provided the inspiration that Bruce needed to bring himself back to his destiny. With his knowledge of Batman's identity, the name Robin thrown about and the way the movie ended, Blake draws some inspiration from Tim Drake. A movie could pick up after the events of this movie featuring his continuation over the protection of Gotham City.

One of the points that was odd was the fact that in those eight years that Batman was in retirement, no other major villain stepped up to try to claim Gotham for themselves. Despite Batman's sacrifice, you would think someone would try to claim the city believing that he was, in fact, dead.

Would this work? Again, without Nolan, it'd be hard to accept. Blake was a great character but the thought of someone else stepping into this version of Gotham to direct would be difficult.

Start All Over Again

Unfortunately it seems that rebooting the franchise is the only thing to do. I've mentioned several times that I would like comic book movies to take the James Bond route and simply recast the character rather than restart and retell the origin.

More likely the next time we'll see Batman on the big screen is if and when the Justice League live-action movie is released. Even though this last film showed that Batman could partner with others (Blake and Kyle), having other costumed superheroes just wouldn't work. We'll have to see a new and different Batman, in a different movie universe, to see him interact with Superman, Wonder Woman and others.

This seems the most likely and most obvious but it's for the best. Trying to return to the world Nolan created without his involvement could end up tarnishing the other movies. Plus a Batman movie without Bruce Wayne would be weird, even if it came out totally cool.

What do you think could work or would be best for the Batman franchise?

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He's not a huge fan of seeing comic book origins retold ever ten years in movies.

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Posted by JohnnyWalker

i doubt it. but they can be recast in the next batman movie.

Posted by r3d_rob1n

Rather than rebooting the franchise from origin for a JL movie, I think that they should first do a World's Finest team up movie. Having Batman fighting with Superman would show that this guy can keep up with the strongest JL team member and therefore be easier for the audience to accept some of the ridiculous things he is bound to do in a JL movie

Posted by Turkeysammich

I fully expect them to try and imitate Marvel Studios and find a way to get all their big guns in a Justice League movie. I would foresee a Flash and Wonder Woman movie at least, in addition to Man of Steel, before putting a recast Batman and one or two other DC heroes in Justice League against Darkseid.

Posted by EisforExtinction

I assume after every movie ends all the characters soul train to Louie, Louie.

Posted by brightstarr731

It was a truly epic story (trilogy). I hope Batman is left to rest for a bit. Let's see a JLA movie with a different version of Batman, and let that play out. No need to rush straight into a new Batman franchise.

Posted by Tober

I would love for somebody new to direct a new trilogy continuing what Nolan started. I wouldn't step on the first trilogy at all and even if they turn out to be not as good or whatever, you could just do what people did with indy 4 and star wars 123... pretend they dont exist. No harm in somebody trying to continue what has been set in motion in Nolans universe.

Posted by Crimson Eagle

I really hope they don't reboot the Batman franchise. Nolans work in the trilogy was spot on, I'd hate to see it be tarnished by someone else. On the other hand, I would like to see a take on Batman Beyond.

Posted by SandMan_

.....SUPERMAN AND BATMAN

Posted by sora_thekey

Why can't someone else pick up what Nolan has done and continue? Would the actors really be opposed to be in another non-Nolan, Batman film?

Moderator
Posted by The_Tree

Reboot it like The Incredible Hulk, where he's already Batman and we don't have to retread over his origin again.

Edited by Sveppi

I'd love to see a film with Blake as Batman, in fact I'd just love to see a film where Bruce isn't Batman. It'd be a great way to differentiate the next set of films from Nolan's, but that's probably not going to happen. Just don't do the origins again.

I actually wrote an article last week on what would be some of the best source material to pull from for the next Batman.

Posted by CapFanboy

I really want it recast or a ton of effort put into getting he current cast back since I don't want another re-told origin...again. On the other hand, leaving it as t is means it will probably remain the greatest comic book movie trilogy in history, leaving it timeless and fans virtually happy

Posted by richardjohngrayson

Reboot. Let us start building the real Bat-Family. Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Tim Drake etc..

Posted by EnSabahNurX

I honestly wouldn't mind a nolan catwoman solo film that takes place before her time in the most recent dark knight and show her little sidekick from the movie

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Hollywood just really needs to give the Dark Knight a rest for now as far as I'm concerned. I like to think Nolan's trilogy starting from 2005's Batman Begins to Dark Knight Rises now was an attempt to right the wrongs for the terrible tragedy that was Batman and Robin (1997) and make an effective Batman story that could be set in a world with almost absolute realism. Its possible a Catwoman or Robin spinoff could be made but if Nolan will have nothing to do with them then its pointless. At this point, what should be done then is a total reboot in the manner of what Marvel did to make individual movies of members of the Justice League to pave the way for an actual JL movie in the future. For the meantime now I'm just saying that Hollywood should leave the Caped Crusader alone, and let Superman get back his glory with next year's Man of Steel and pray that its good enough for a trilogy.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

I wish they would make a spin off, but I would like to see Christopher Nolan to be involved with the movie

Posted by Grim

SPoilers

Nolan designed TDKR so no one could pick it up and run with it. Trying would give us a world where batman quit and some random new guy is running a sort of Batman/X-men hybrid operation (being under the orphanage) wouldnt work. The ONLY reason the ending was cool was because you could let your imagination run with it. But another film in the franchise would force a truth on you, and would alter most peoples opinion of the ending of TDKR.

I am one of the few apparently who didnt love TDKR to death. I liked the visuals and the awesome ideas, and most of the story and twists actually. It was just the ending and all that stuff that turned me off. It felt forced to kill bruce but not really and have JGL not be Dick Grayson but be almost like him and named Robin and... idk. It rubbed me wrong. The other movies could fit into the Batlore with little alteration. This one was a complete curveball that cant be recovered... As Nolan wanted.

I think the next thing we are looking at is a tie in to the JLA movies. I think the Batman will be mentioned in Man of Steel in some way, and in the next JLA tie-in movie too. But i think it would be insanely cool for us to not actually see him until the first time the team meets him in JLA. But this would require WB to actually let people who know what they are doing write the movies, instead of hiring writers who never read a comic before they were given a check to do it. I still think they should throw money at Joss Whedon and apologize profusely, but thats just me. Johns could work ok too if he wanted to do it...

Posted by Twentyfive

Nothing should happen. Batman died, the story should end there.

HOWEVER!

I would not mind seeing Blake as Nightwing in an upcoming movie.

Posted by SeanFoster

If they don't do a film set in the Nolan Batverse I think they should do a Batman Beyond film, possibly bringing back a previous actor to play an older Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton!!) and put some distance between the Nolan films and the inevitable reboot.

Edited by War Killer

BATMAN BEYOND

Posted by jwalser3

Do NOT reboot Batman.

Just give us another hero. LIke a Flash movie, or a Wonder Woman movie.

Posted by Sapphire Warlock

I just want the studio to leave this series alone. Further expanding on this series without Nolan's involvement, I feel, would only taint what he's done so far. It's a great film series that ends beautifully. Continuing it even with Tim DrakeJohn Blake would seem weird and out of place. Just leave it to be for now. Reboot in 5 years or so and there we go.

Posted by CrimsonCake

@War Killer: If only.

Posted by GalacticPunt

As far as the movies go, I am certain that a reboot and tonal shift is next for Batman. I'd like to see JGL continue the legacy as Batman the Second, or Nightwing, or something entirely new. But Nolan doesn't want to, and Warner Bros. don't want to offend him by letting other people play with his universe. He made Warner a jillion dollars with Dark Knight/Inception/DK Rises, and they want to keep him happy and making them golden eggs!

I wouldn't hold any ill will towards a reboot in three or four years either. There are pretty much infinite ways to portray the character.

Posted by KnightRise

@SeanFoster said:

If they don't do a film set in the Nolan Batverse I think they should do a Batman Beyond film, possibly bringing back a previous actor to play an older Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton!!) and put some distance between the Nolan films and the inevitable reboot.

Clint Eastwood for the Bruce Beyond. I demand it.

Posted by Fantasgasmic

If they spun off John Blake, it would be the first Batman movie since Tim Burton's in 1989 that I didn't go see in theaters. Including Mask of the Phantasm. What I think comic book movies need to do is not make any more origin stories for reboots. You can assume everyone knows spiderman/batman/superman's origins, you don't need to introduce Alfred/J Jonah Jameson/ Lois Lane anymore. It's part of pop culture. Not focusing on introducing and explaining backstory gives more time for plot! I don't know anyone who saw a movie (comic book or other) and said "you know what this needs? More exposition!"

Posted by Webjaker

Its already coming:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877830/

If nolan isnt back then this universe should not be continued - would i like another movie, yes, would i like 10, yes - But if Nolan isnt at the helm then no, reboot it.

Do a Batman Beyond movie or a Batman movie that doesnt go into his origin - just a Batman that is already Batman and have an adventure. So many superhero movies waste time giving us the origin again and again - we've seen it, just get to the story.

Posted by DDangelico

Unfortunately I think, because Nolan's universe is so uniquely his, a reboot is the only way to go. However, I don't think we need to do an origin story again. Perhaps quick flashbacks or something of the sort to imply how he got to where he is--but I don't think a reboot requires a retelling of the origin story.

Regardless, whoever has to follow up Nolan's films certainly has his or her work cut out for them!

Posted by warpgirl

ok.. so for those of us who don't have the luxury of going out to movies... someone wanna give me some idea wtf happened? Or do I have to wait for pay-per-view?

Posted by Webjaker
Posted by inferiorego

@RedheadedAtrocitus said:

Hollywood just really needs to give the Dark Knight a rest for now as far as I'm concerned. I like to think Nolan's trilogy starting from 2005's Batman Begins to Dark Knight Rises now was an attempt to right the wrongs for the terrible tragedy that was Batman and Robin (1997) and make an effective Batman story that could be set in a world with almost absolute realism. Its possible a Catwoman or Robin spinoff could be made but if Nolan will have nothing to do with them then its pointless. At this point, what should be done then is a total reboot in the manner of what Marvel did to make individual movies of members of the Justice League to pave the way for an actual JL movie in the future. For the meantime now I'm just saying that Hollywood should leave the Caped Crusader alone, and let Superman get back his glory with next year's Man of Steel and pray that its good enough for a trilogy.

this

Staff
Posted by jinxuandi

We've seen a "realistic" Batman fighting against potentially "real-world" villains (OK, it's a stretch, but that's how the movies see themselves). Now let's go the other direction. It would be very easy to make yet another noirish "dark and gritty" Bat film due to the success of Nolan's films and the prevalence of dark stories in contemporary comics. But I want to see a director take up the challenge of making Batman a comic character again without making him a campy cartoon character a la Schumacher. Pit him against Mr. Freeze or Killer Croc or the Mad Hatter and make a good movie in the mean time. It can be done.

Posted by Mucklefluga

No Batman Beyond! I haven't finished with Bruce yet! I wanna see a Batman film where Bruce is really smart and is a proper detective, fighting comic booky villains in a comic booky world that gives references to Superman.

Posted by TheBigRedCheese

Batman Beyond would be nice.

Posted by Spiderslike

I think a John Blake story where he tries to be Batman and discovers he shouldn't try to be BATMAN but be who he is and either becomes the Nolan version of Robin or Nightwing I think Nightwing is more likely but either is possible

Posted by Webjaker

@jinxuandi said:

We've seen a "realistic" Batman fighting against potentially "real-world" villains (OK, it's a stretch, but that's how the movies see themselves). Now let's go the other direction. It would be very easy to make yet another noirish "dark and gritty" Bat film due to the success of Nolan's films and the prevalence of dark stories in contemporary comics. But I want to see a director take up the challenge of making Batman a comic character again without making him a campy cartoon character a la Schumacher. Pit him against Mr. Freeze or Killer Croc or the Mad Hatter and make a good movie in the mean time. It can be done.

Agreed - I think Nolan's was a masterpiece and for a JL appropriate reboot, they would have to go this route, have Batman in a world in which the rest of the JL could exist (in Nolans universe -they could not). What we DO NOT need it an origin story. Have a new Batman (and family?) already established and taking on the rogue gallery in Gotham, more like the Comics but NOT campy.

Posted by kennybaese

I honestly think they should lead with Man of Steel and then launch a Justice League movie. Given all of the Justice League cartoons and the relative archetypical nature of DC's main cast of heroes, I don't think it's would be that difficult for them to launch a Justice League movie without all of the prequel films a la Marvel's Avengers. I think they could use Man of Steel as a lead in (him being the first super hero and inspiring the others) and launch a Justice League movie from there. Do the white Martians or something as a way to introduce J'onn and include Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash and you should be up and running without too much difficulty.

Posted by fodigg

I think if they were smart they'd start with a Justice League film and branch out from there with all new franchises. Sort of the opposite of what Marvel did, but the secret is that you don't actually need origin stories for most of these characters. Just hit the ground running and create the shared universe with the first film, then expand from there.

Posted by Teerack

The answer is nothing.

Edited by LordRequiem

Well I didn't like it. I think all they need do now is make another Batman film, NO STUPID REBOOTS, every Batman film has had flashbacks of his parent's death and Begins is the perfect origin. Just get a new actor (preferably unheard of because there isn't really anyone I can think of).

A Nightwing film with Dick Grayson could be a good way to go. I can imagine some of the choreography with his acrobatics and eskrima sticks.

Please no Catwoman, again.

@War Killer: Absolutely YES!!!!! Good old Terry McGuinness.

Posted by Bestostero

Start over, although I would not mind a GOOD Catwoman movie, not...THAT one. Batman Beyond would be great too, but I want a Justice League movie above all else!

Posted by neiliusprime

Batman Beyond would be pretty sick, but if they do a Justice League movie, you can't do it without Bruce Wayne though

Posted by feargalr

I think its a real shame about Nolan's trilogy, that it wasn't just the Batman origin trilogy. His Batman felt to me like he was a fairly shallow version of what we see in the comics. The first two movies combined make for a great origin story. Unfortunately the rises kinda gets rid of that idea :/ People say that Superman and other stuff wouldn't fit into Nolan's world but I don't see why not.

Next though I think they should just reboot. But not do an origin, maybe touch on it briefly every 2 or 3 movies but overall just do standalone Batman stories, or maybe standalone Batman trilogies. Then just have a rule set down that the writers can do what they want but keep the ending open enough so that someone can come in and take over and keep it going.

Basically James Bond it.

Posted by TheMess1428

I am throwing my hat into the ring for the writer on the Batman reboot and it's gonna be epic. I'm working on it as we speak.

Posted by ThomasElliot

Whatever the next trilogy is, it needs to differ in tone and skip the origins. If you present to people, "here is another tale/take on Batman", they will get it. Yeah, you of course get a handful of really stupid people that are going to sit there and think, "But that wasn't in The Dark Knight Returns", but there's nothing you can do about ignorant people (ignorant not used as a insult here). Look, it apparently worked for the Hulk, right?

I say do an actual adaptation of an existing story, like Hush or Death In The Family. Flip it back from the 'gritty realistic' Batman movie to something that resembles the comic book more. This will further drive the point home to the viewers that Batman is a character with varying iterations and varying degrees of storytelling.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I think it'd be pretty cool if they went the X-Men First Class route and reboot the whole thing, but set it back in the 30s or 40s. You know, back when Batman was new. It wouldn't have to be a retelling of Batman's origin, it could just start with Batman already fighting crime.

Really, I just want to see Batman fighting olde timey gangsters.

On the other hand, I'd also really like to see a follow up to TDKR about Robin fighting crime. Would it be as good without Chris Nolan? I dunno. It could still be pretty good though, because Nolan isn't the only director who knows how to make decent movies.

Posted by Webjaker

I agree that DC should do a reverse-Marvel. Have the JL Movie and spin off from there. The reason Marvel released all their movies first was that honestly - Before the Iron Man movie - no non-comic peope knew of any of the Avengers except maybe from the old school Hulk Tv show. Everyone knows batman and Superman, and most people know flash and wonder woman, and their origins could be shown after. A GL reboot would be nice - that movie just plain sucked.

Posted by CrimsonAvenger

I don't see why a director can't just continue the storyline. They can take the story from Nolan's but just create an entirely new universe around them. JGL should play Batman or Red Robin maybe. Bruce Timm should do the next Batman film since he understands the character better than anyone else. Then get Ridley Scott to do Batman Beyond or after Man of Steel do World's Finest.

Posted by Kurtisimus

I think, after a 5 or so year break, they should jump in with a Batman & Robin Trilogy. If they made a movie focusing on Bruce adopting Dick Grayson, after his parents death, and training him as Robin that could be really awesome. It would be the same basic structure of Batman Begins: We see Haley's Circus and Dicks parents die, Dick gets adopted by Bruce and finds out his secret and begins training, then a villain is introduced and they have to stop him to save Gotham. A second movie could be them fighting a major villain with their relationship becoming stronger. A last movie could be Dick becoming his own man and deciding to become Nightwing. Personally, I think that would be awesome.

Edited by __transgojobot__

This seven-year renaissance of the Dark Knight was a fun ride, but I think it's time to give the character a much deserved rest. But I agree that the next time we might see Batman on the big-screen will be in a 'Justice League' movie, if that actually comes to fruition.

I believe the smartest move would be for Warners to take a page out of their rival's playbook (re: Marvel) and use next summer's 'Man of Steel' as the launching pad for an eventual JL movie.

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